Today we completed day #3 on the Hot Rod Power Tour and are spending the evening in South Bend, IN. We started the day (again) in the rain, but this time got smart and applied some Rain-X in the parking lot before we left – that made navigating in the rain a ton easier. Rain-X is great stuff – it’s like wax for windows and causes the water to bead up on the glass. When driving down the road at 55 mph the water just flies away – you never even need to turn on the wipers!
We met up with the Power Tour again this morning for the ‘official’ launch from Racine, but noticed that about half of the group had skipped the drivers meeting to get moving on down the road. We had a nice time meeting people in the lot, but then spent the next hour or so in bumper-to-bumper traffic getting out of Racine (heading toward Chicago). Unlike yesterday, we were in the back of the ‘launch’ parking lot – and ended up paying the price for it. Hopped up cars hate bumper-to-bumper traffic, and the Chevelle is no exception. Even with it’s massive aluminum radiator and 16-inch spal fan it still gets a little warm (about 220 degrees F). Anyway, we were somewhat bundled up when leaving Racine (because it was so cold), and by the time we reached Chicago is was a hot and steamy day. We made it to our destination of South Bend, IN around 3PM Eastern time – which only left us about 3 hours to meet and talk to people before the show was over for the day. About 2 of those 3 hours were in a good midwestern thunderstorm, and the remaining hour was in the sun. Despite the weather, we met up with several great people and were able to shoot several video interviews – those will be posted up once we return home and have a chance to do a little bit of editing.
I’ll end today’s post with an observation. The people we’ve met so far on the tour have been from all walks of life and have a fairly diverse ethnic and financial background….but every one of them seem to have a heart of gold. We saw several hot rods and muslce cars broken down on the side of the road during the drive, and for each injured car we saw there were another 10 that had pulled over to offer assistance. We interviewd a couple of guys who had just pulled the 4-speed out of a complete stangers 70 1/2 Camaro for him while he ran to the parts store to pick up a new clutch – and they did it in a thunderstorm. Good folks!
Morning launch of the Power Tour – Racine, WI to South Bend, IN.
Aaron and I prior to leaving Racine (note the sweatshirts!). Funny side note – Aaron and I have each lost our drivers license multiple times due to multiple moving violations in our younger years. We’ve even attended driver improvement school together!
The Chicago skyline on a hot and steamy morning. We had ditched the sweatshirts by this point.
Looks like a real patrol car, doesn’t it? It isn’t (or it isn’t any more). The license plates said ‘Sshamu’ and we figured that between that, and the massive rubber on all 4 corners, it likely was another hot rodder. We passed him – it felt great!
Pulling in to South Bend, IN. In this picture we – and a few other people – had just jumped out to help push the maroon ’65 El Camino to the side of the road. (Too hot and too much bumper-to-bumer traffic!)
A plain-jane ’67 Chevelle with a 427 – owned by Ken Dunton of Caro, Michigan. Look for it in an upcoming issue of Hot Rod Magazine!
A not-so-plain-jane ’66 Charger! This was a ‘what-if’ car created by owner Larry Doerr. Chrysler didn’t have a winged-Charger until 1969, but that didn’t stop Larry from creating one of the most unique cars at the show. We shot a little video with Larry that will be posted up soon.
Even the AMC guys got a little love during the Power Tour. This is a picture of a gold Javelin.
Read this one closely. It (was) a pristine ’67 Camaro that took some battle damage on the way to join up with the Power Tour. It didn’t stop them from rolling on though!
The down side: a broken pressure plate finger put this 70 1/2 Z28 on the side of the road. Good side: The Good Samaritan’s in the GTO offered to help out – they pulled the transmission out of the Camaro while the owner ran in to town for parts. We were lucky enough to interview them for a few minutes – look for a video soon!
I believe that this was once a ’65 Tempest….but is now almost a full-on stock car! It has a Swartz Performance chassis and a full roll cage. We saw this bugger on a 270 degree on-ramp – he picked up speed the entire way and exited it faster than he entered!
This may be the only 426 Hemi powered Super Bee in the world that gets 18mpg! It’s a former race-car that has been re-engineered by owner Tom Westcott. He’s put on a modern-style coil-pack ignition system as well as fuel injection – along with a VERY custom timing and air/fuel ratio mapping. His brother Steve Westcott had a ’66 Corvette with a 461 big-block that was achieving over 20mpg using a different series of fuel injection components. Neato guys.
The metallic pea Family Truckster from the Vacation movies with Chevy Chase. It even had the dog leash attached to the bumper. Poor little guy…probably tried to keep up for a while….